Colorado lawmakers file bill to limit college funding of ‘political’ student groups

As the student media world waits for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether students can stop their student activity fees from being used to fund student groups that engage in political or ideological speech, some state lawmakers have begun to take the matter into their own hands.

Two Republican lawmakers in Colorado are the first to file a bill this year that would prohibit state schools from using student fees to fund organizations “whose primary purpose is to engage in political activity or issue advocacy….”

Opponents of the funding restriction measures believe lawmakers in other states may join the fray soon by introducing their own bills.

The Supreme Court heard arguments in November in Southworth v. Grebe, No. 98-1189, about whether students could be forced to fund student activities, even if some of those activities or groups advocate political or ideological views with which they disagree. A decision in the case is expected before the end of June.

The Student Press Law Center and other student media groups filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the case warning the Court that almost all student media